Log of SV Free Spirit and ships company

The chronicles of the schooner Free Spirit and her crew, embarking on an open ended journey upon the great rolling heap. Free Spirit is currently pursuing humanitarian and commercial goals in the Dominican Republic, on the island of Hispaniola. Working under the Ocean Reach USA and Paradigm Research banners, she is serving as logistics headquarters, workshop, and development laboratory for many ongoing projects. This is the log of her journey.....

Web sailfreespirit.blogspot.com
If you are joining us for the first time, click here for an introduction!
Books and more, at the Schooner Free Spirit Chandelry
Clothes and more, at the Free Spirit Logo Shop!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hershey, Pennsylvania July 19th

We made a point of only enjoying the "Free" sights in Hershey ;-) Here are the boys and I posing in front of the tourist trap itself....

Valin really wanted to 'Work at the factory', so here he is! Although he spent almost the whole tine helping the younger kids work. Valin has recently told us that he is so good with younger kids and babies, that he might be the 'Baby Whisperer' :-)

Check out these production numbers.... Amazing!!

~Kisses for everyone~

Drake, getting ready to dig into his custom cupcake, a vanilla with chocolate frosting decorated with mini hershey kisses & a peppermint patty. Nathalie and I each chose a much needed large coffee....

Valin got a chocolate with chocolate frosting decorated with kissables and a peppermint patty.

Blayde got a vanilla with vanilla frosting decorated with kisses and peppermint patty...


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Dixie Caverns, Virginia July 18th

Our fabulous tour guide... She always had something to say :-) The boys and I had never been into caverns like these, and it was really kewl!

It was quite difficult to get good pictures because of the lighting... This was near the beginning of the tour.

Earlier in the morning the boys had made savage head bands out of branches.... they don them here for the great adventure underground!

The environment in the caverns was really moist, and most of the walkways steps are dangerously slippery.

The light at the upper left of this photo is the opening to the outside. The story is that a little boy was walking his dog in 1920, and it fell into the hole. The boy then went to get his father who discovered the caverns while rescuing the dog, named Dixie. It was then opened to the public in 1923.

Watch out above!!!!

This is a pool that has been created by the condensation dripping off of the stalactites.

Interestingly, when most of the lights are shut off, what you see here is the reflection of the ceiling in the pool below. it was almost magical, to see it in person.

They call this the "Turkey Wing"... The boys thought it would make quite a meal, but maybe a tad bit too crunchy :-)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Cliff goes crazy in Las Fairbanks

I got a chance to demonstrate my mad DJ skills at a local club.....

View of the floor from the DJ booth. Party On!!
The house was PACKED!
The scene was so raucous that we emptied out the club next
door, and they all came over to see the action!
Special Thanks to the genius of Jake Phallenburg ,
who put this show together and promoted it so well.

DJ Smyth, on the mike bringin down the house with block rockin' beats from groove coverage to lords of acid, while the dance floor undulates with the rhythm....Thanks to Mike and Steve for keeping the lust crazed fans out of the booth!

An adoring fan shows her well deserved gratitude.....

Well, actually, thats not what really happened. My buddy Chad and I went to a local bar, which was pretty quiet (Tuesday night, I think?) We got some techno cranked up for all four of us to enjoy. The girl is Brickie, Chad's long time girl, who I pleaded (and I eventually had to pay $20) to pose for this picture, on a totally separate occasion. (ok, not really, but that would have been pretty funny, in a pathetically funny kind of way, don't you think?)

Anyway, we had fun, played good tunes, and pretty much had the place to ourselves.

Thanks Chad, for the photos.

Monday, August 13, 2007

New York State July 21st

Here is Squat, the playful cat of P'tit Louis, who traveled with us from Florida to St-Faustin, Quebec. She LOVED sitting on the dash where she could see everything.

Our first Northern sunset in almost a year.....

Wow! Check out the "mountains", something that I miss the most while in Florida.

The boys, taking a little playtime before we headed out for a long day of travel.

Nathalie, watching the brood from afar.

Crossing the last bridge New York into Ontario... It is called the 1000 Islands region and was absolutely beautiful!

St. Augustine July 15th-17th

We finally left the boat yard on Sunday July 15th, with great expectations of a much needed break. Here are the boys enjoying the surf on the beach in St. Augustine that evening. We stayed here for the first 2 nights of our journey, to take a few moments to catch our breath.

The sunset from the East coast of Florida is not near as glorious as from the West, but was still beautiful, especially with Nathalie in the foreground :-) We took the liberty of enjoying our first night off by having a glass of wine, and some fabulous appetizers.

Just an interesting view....

And....... They're off and running!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The boys spent a considerable amount of their "out of the water" time, building forts and burying army guys with sand bombs. I am pretty sure that beach goers will be finding them for years to come :-)

After working in the searing Florida sun for 6 months; and applying sunscreen, I never would have thought..... I had some of the worst sunburn of my life! In between my toes, my entire scalp, the backs of my hands, and the worst was my lower lip. The boys were not as bad, fortunately, but were still peeling in spots for a week. Ya know, I learned something today :-)

Now, this is one excited boy!! Check out the air space between his feet and the beach!!

The lighthouse in St. Augustine was amazing. This is the view from the ground floor, we didn't go to the top during this visit. It was about 90 degrees, we were all sunburned, there were wasps infiltrating the walkway around the top, and it is 219 steps to the top.

Practicing their knot tying skills with Tante (Aunt) Nathalie in the basement of the keepers house.

If you are planning on visiting Free Spirit during her cruising, be sure to study up on these!

Here she is, in all her glory.


Hey everyone.... Please look down below the "How Not To Talk To The Police" post to see 2 new entries!!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

How not to talk to the police.

"License , insurance, and registration please"

Sure, just a minute.... I'm sure its in here somewhere..... underneath all this junk.

"Did you know that one of your brake lights is not working?"

Well, I do now.

(digging through mountains of tools and paperwork)

Oh here it is.

"Can I search your car sir?"

I don't know, can you? I mean, don't they teach that back at the academy?

(did I just say that?)

(oh well, may as well run with it now.....)

"is there anything in the car I should know about, sharp or dangerous?"


(awkward pause)

"what in the car is dangerous sir? Get out of the car and stand over here. Now."

Well, its not my car, but the things that I know of, hmm, well there is a battery operated skillsaw with a hair trigger, about 1000 sharp nails, a rusty saw (that might have tetanus) , and... well there is this tape measure that has a split edge, yeah, if you pull that out and let it back in wrong, you'll get a nasty cut.

"Anything else I should know about?"

Well, like I said, it's not my car, so I don't know. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a case of hand grenades under all that crap. (cringe)

"you think there could be explosives in the car?"

"lay down on the ground, face down. NOW."

(somewhat muffled) No, I didn't say that, I just said I wouldn't be surprised. Like I wouldn't be surprised if you turned out to be a space alien, here to probe my (nether regions). Its just been that kind of day.

(uh oh, I think I'm headed to rodney kingsville.... better start backpedaling, fast!)

Look, I've just got a bad taillight and a worse attitude. Sorry you had to be here for it. I just waited in Denny's for an hour and a half for a salad that never came... I finally gave up and was on my way home to get some rest.

"keep your hands where I can see them"

(ok, this officially sucks now.....)

Suffice to say it didn't get better, but it didn't get worse either.

I swear when he finally let me go (with a warning) that he had a subtle grin on his face. I'd like to think that in the end, it brightened up his night. I just hope he doesn't tell all his buddies at the station to see what they can get me to do.

Introducing Propcalc 4.0

Use Propcalc to easily match your hull with your engine, transmission, and propeller
Put the known data in the top fields, then hit the Update button to get the answers.
Results, of course, should be verified by a Naval Architect or qualified surveyor.
Data is provided for three bladed propellers of average type
For two or four bladed props, use the modifiers shown below.

Fill out the fields as follows:

Vessel LWL (ft) = Waterline length
Vessel Disp (lbs) = Vessel displacement
(max) HP = Rated Engine Max HP
Engine RPM max = Engine RPM at Max HP
Engine RPM cruise = Desired or estimated cruise rpm
(Cruise or Max) Kts = Speed to work the calculations for
Slip = Propeller efficience. 45% is average for a displacement cruiser.
Gear ratio = 1: Gear ratio of transmission
SL Ratio Adj. = This value will be added (or subtracted, if a negative value) to the calculated S/L ratio.

Key information:

If the "hp required" is greater than the "cruse HP", you have your cruise RPM set too low for your engine parameters.
If the "hp required" is significantly less than the "cruse HP", you have your cruise RPM set too high for your engine parameters.
If the "hp required" is greater than the "Max HP", then your target speed is too high for your engine/hull parameters.
The S/L ratio is calculated automaticaly based on your input. It can be adjusted if necessary, but normally it should be left alone.
If the calculated S/L ratio exceeds S/L MAX, then the results are likely to be non-predictive. Try a lower speed requirement.
SL Ratios of 1.1 - 1.4 are typical of displacement hulls. Semiplaning or planing hulls can go higher.

Typical propeller slip values:

Sailing auxiliary, barges, etc less than 9 Kts............45%
Heavy powerboats, workboats 9 - 15 Kts....................26%
Powerboats, Lightweight Cruisers 15 - 30 Kts..............24%
High speed planing boats 30 - 45 Kts......................20%
V bottom race boats 45 - 90 Kts...........................10%


it is possible to get irrational answers by irrational input , I.E specifying excessive speed for hull type and length
Any attempt to exceed hull speed (1.34 times the square root of the waterline length in feet) with a displacement hull are likely
to fail unless the hull is extremely fine (multihull) or otherwise exceptional. In such cases, an S/L adjustment would be in order.

2 and 4 bladed props:

For two bladed propellers, multiply the diameter by 1.05, and the pitch by 1.01
For four bladed propellers, multiply the diameter by .94, and the pitch by .98

Vessel LWL (ft) =
Vessel Disp (lbs) =
  (max) HP =
  Engine RPM max =
  Engine RPM cruise =
  (Cruise or Max) Kts =
  Slip =
  Gear ratio = 1:
  SL Ratio Adj. =
  Prop rpm max =
  Prop rpm cruise =
  Pitch =
  Diameter =
  Static Thrust =
  Cruise HP =
  Cruise HP% =
  SL Ratio =
  DL Ratio =
  SL Max =
  HP Required =